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How Can I Fix Buckled Laminate Floors After My Washing Machine Flooded My Home?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
The lever on my washing machine that’s supposed to stop the water broke and my entire laundry room was flooded. Now my floors are buckled and uneven. How can I fix buckled laminate floors? Is it hard?
– Stephen P.

Dear Stephen,

It’s good to hear that you had laminate flooring installed when your washing machine overflowed because laminate is perhaps the easiest type of flooring to repair.

Some types of flooring require that you glue the planks to your subfloor. Others require you to use nails to secure it in place. Laminate flooring is known as a “floating” floor. It sits on top of your subfloor without nails or glue. Instead it is installed using a tongue-and-groove pattern. Like a puzzle, you snap one piece into the other until you’re finished.

When your flooring buckles, you reverse the installation process to replace only the damaged planks. You don’t have to pay for a new floor or spend money to replace all the planks leading up to the damaged area. You only have to worry about fixing the spot where the flooding left its footprint.

Before you begin, make sure you have enough extra laminate flooring to replace the damaged planks. If not, purchase the same exact color and pattern of laminate flooring as you currently have. Make sure you let the new flooring acclimatize before trying to make your repairs.

When you’re ready, here’s how to fix buckled laminate flooring:

Remove the floorboards from the closest wall to the damaged area. Remember, unless the planks that are flush with the wall are damaged, you won’t need to replace them, so take care when pulling the floorboard up.
Tools for Laminate Flooring Installation

Carefully remove each plank until you reach the damaged area. Set the “healthy” planks aside as you will be reinstalling these once the damaged planks are removed and replaced.

Put the new planks in place of the damaged planks. Then, put your flooring back together. Like a puzzle, each piece must be facing the right way so that everything aligns properly.

Bestlaminate Customer Room Scene: Installing Laminate Flooring

Replace the floorboard. You will probably need to nail in the floorboard again to close any gaps between the flooring and the wall.

That’s it! Laminate flooring is perhaps the easiest type of flooring to repair if damaged, so don’t fret.

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